Celebrating those with Alzheimer's on Mother's Day


COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH) -- Mother's Day is about celebrating the special women in our lives. Some may shy away when a disease like Alzheimer's or Dementia is in the mix but it's important to celebrate your loved one now more than ever.

Maxine Wilson was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease more than a year ago. The midlands woman is one of 5-million Americans with the disease, and two-thirds of those people are women.

"I look at her and go 'I don't know how this happened?' How does she go from being that person in charge of everything to someone that now thinks i'm her brother? You know that's how devastating this disease is," says Mike Wilson.

He says there are family names she can't remember and often thinks her husband of 67-years is her father.

"My mom is now to the point where she has a baby doll that she thinks is alive and she cares for that child. You watch her and you see how she nurtures that baby. You know she's the same person but she is only in the moment," he says.

Mike's daughter Taylor works for the Alzheimer's Association and has learned the right fights to give depending on the stage the disease has reached.

"Things that will help her remember: Post it notes, magnet pads on the refrigerator, white boards to be able to write down important things or memory calendars," she says.

There are also different options for the later stages.

"You don't want to over stimulate them or make them feel trapped in any way. Loose-fitting warm clothing, different throws for their lap, robes, things that feel really good to a touch," adds Taylor.

Taylor also says there's something called a "Fidget Apron" that helps those with anxiety.

On Mother's Day, the Wilsons are scheduling family time with different members of the family so Maxine isn't overwhelmed and can better enjoy herself.

"You have to take those moments where you know what you did made them feel good because that's all they have," says Mike.

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